Skills Employers Want in 2018

Monday, January 22, 2018 | Posted by: Alpha Kappa Psi

In the current school year, universities are expected to award over two million Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees. With spring graduation approaching, these final winter months are when most students begin their job search. Because of the high competition employers want more than a degree to fill their positions. One way to stand out is to not only explain your related skills, but to share the specifics behind them. For all those soon-to-be grads, here’s a short list of skills employers look for, and how you can tailor it to your future career.

Continuing Education for New Grads

Degrees give you tools to get you started, and knowledge of the subject, but it’s nearly impossible your education has prepared you for everything you’ll experience on the job. For example, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most anticipated additions to the workplace soon for almost every industry. So, there will be a learning curve for most in this area. There are plenty of online resources to assist in this process. UDACITY offers AI courses at introduction and in-depth skill levels.

Technology is, of course, not the only area where more education may be needed or desired by students making their way into the job market. Certifications and licenses can be valuable additions to your resume. Sites like Continuing Education provide online courses for fields like health care, financial services, and real estate. Expressing a willingness to learn, and learning quickly, will certainly give you an edge.

Efficiency at a New Job

Efficiency is a product of habit, so if you haven’t been the most effective during your scholarly years, it’s time to start growing. Meeting deadlines is a crucial aspect of almost any job. Efficiency is all about producing work quickly while ensuring quality. Think about your field, the daily work required of your dream position, and how you think you’d balance. Then, strategize ways to demonstrate this to your potential employer, like in a cover letter or during the interview process. (Remember, don’t brag!)

Stand Out As A Team Player

It’s important to stand out as a great individual, too, but don’t overlook the power of working with a team. Almost no task can be completed alone. It’s all about working together. Expressing this skill is important, so be sure to talk about the skills that make up being a team-player. It requires compromise, navigating conflict, communicating, and commitment, all of which are valuable traits.

Communication: Writing and Speaking

According to a PayScale survey 46% of employers want young workers to practice their communication skills. This goes beyond verbal communication between co-workers, though that is important. Employers want to see a breadth of understanding in written communication. Sharing your work or taking a writing course could go a long way in any field. Also, don’t underestimate public speaking skills. Any position you’ve had that required a form of public speaking should be highlighted to the employer.

Early Career Leadership 

According to a National Association of Colleges and Employers' survey more than 80% of employers look for leadership skills on a potential employee’s resume. This evidence could be anything from leadership positions or jobs with influence on campus. Not only should you share positions you’ve held that demonstrate leadership, but give examples of your leadership in those positions. Tough decisions, strategic thinking, and building relationships are all key aspects to leadership. There are many different philosophies and models to approaching leadership. Take the time to reflect on your style and how you act as a leader.

Getting specific about your skill set is a great way to stand out from other candidates. But don’t forget about other important aspects of landing a job like self-promotion and maximizing your time with recruiters. Whether it’s leadership, communication, or efficiency, there is always a way to specify your talent to future employers. What’s a skill that sets you apart from others?  Let us know in the comments below!

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